donderdag 22 december 2016




Decades of my professional life as commercial director and international project manager in food ingredients I travelled all over the world. It was not only business that has driven me in that direction. Curiosity to talk to people from other cultures and to understand their situation resulted in a great experience and meant a learning process. Not only did I meet interesting people, I also began to understand the social and environmental impact of the actual economical driven system. Growth, as main ingredient of the recipe, causing a mix of problems. Moreover, it became clear that the world would change drastically by technology in the future.


After early retirement in 2004 I decided, to focus on social problems and to start as an independent volunteer without any commercial interest. The idea was to make the influence of the changes in society, more visible. At the same time, I did some studies to support my initiative and became the pupil of a philosopher. A connection that is still alive today. I started interviewing citizens giving them a ‘voice’ by publishing in a local newspaper.

In 2012 I was asked to become a member of an advisory council of Zaanstad, a city near Amsterdam. Here my main task was to translate the social/psychological problems into plans for improvement. During these years, the idea to dig deeper into society and use this information came to the surface in a new initiative that I gave the name Koffiekring Zaanstad. (Koffiekring= a group of people drinking coffee) This started in 2013 in the form of newsletters by email to policymakers and people interested in social matters.  

The opinion of more or less vunerable people with difficulties to follow the changes in society and the analysis were and are forming the main ingredients of this initiative. In 2016 I changed the newsletter into a blog under . Beneath the surface of  modern society many problems could be identified. In 2014 the city wanted me to join another project that appeared to be an important survey as to poverty. First, the underlying question here: what is poverty in a rich society? Many people are not able to handle money and a huge issue is that debt for many is on the horizon if spending is out of balance. 

My idea was that this could not be solved in the actual system. For that reason, a plan ‘out of the box has been proposed and is still in discussion. The main point here is that we start to place humans in the centre and to answer the question: what is a meaningful life? In the plan, collective housing and working come together. New element is an idea to offer partly material instead of money because of the financial problems. At any rate, it is also an attempt to think about the place of humans in a future sustainable society.

I continued my journey and Koffiekring Zaanstad is in the air for the same purpose to listen to people and trying to create a vision as to social development. Creating awareness becomes more and more important. We see men and women wanting to belong to society and do something that brings them satisfaction and appreciation. In this respect the focus should be more on well-being than on actual 'prosperity' that also has a dark side. There is a connection  to further activities and plans in this respect.

GLOBAL APPROACH                                     

As requested I am fully prepared to make my ‘social capital’ available for a new international initiative, related to wealth, jobs, security and environment. In this respect creating awareness as to the changes future technology and innovation will bring plays a key role. Further information and details will be provided later.

Name                       :         Wim Verhoeven 
Location                  :          Zaanstad ( The Netherlands)
Email                        :      
Twitter                     :         @bert_anders
Blog (Dutch)            :
Communication      :          Dutch, English, German, French